The concept is very simple: Have all your devices sync automatically over the air, using the cloud as the intermediary. One account covers as many as 10 devices (including iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, Macs, in some cases PCs, and in some cases Apple TVs), and it handles contacts, calendars, email, music, e-books, e-magazines, documents, photos, and even apps. Make a change or purchase on one device, all your devices have it. Have all your key data backed up automatically as well.
According to PC Magazine's Samara Lynn, "out of the 573 C-level executives, business unit leaders, and IT decision-makers surveyed, three key indicators of the maturing of cloud computing were made apparent: businesses have increased investments in resources to secure, manage, and support cloud computing; there is growing adoption and preference for private clouds; and a healthy interest in cloud computing for revenue-generating services." This is a 23 percent growth since 2009, according to the survey.
But all is not well in the world of cloud computing. Many users find that they have to purchase and use cloud computing services without the consent or knowledge of corporate IT. In many instances, corporate IT has been pushing back on cloud computing. The use of cloud resources is really the departments trying to expedite the automation of some business processes without having to wait for IT to respond. And according to the survey, there are no penalties for a cloud without permission. So go for it -- you won't get fired.
HP CEO Leo Apotheker announced Tuesday that the company is setting aside $2 billion for customers to help buy its cloud systems.
Irv Rothman, who heads HP Financial Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, said it will use financial tools, such as sale and lease back, where HP buys a customer's assets and then leases them back for a specific period of time. It monetizes those assets and provides customers with a pool of cash, he said.